Banks Fire District offers free car seats, installation, safety classes

Banks – The Banks Fire District is partnering with Cincinnati Children’s and Toyota as part of a national car seat safety program to share child passenger safety education with Western Washington County families.

The program, called Buckle Up for Life, allows trained fire district specialists to work closely with caregivers and families to educate them about all aspects of seat belts, booster seats and car seats, and how they should properly be installed, according to a joint press release issued by the three organizations.

“We were honored to be awarded this car seat grant from Buckle Up for Life,” Banks Fire Chief Rodney Linz said. “The Banks Fire District serves three major highways, responding to multiple accidents every years, and (we) know first hand the importance of this program.”

Linz said six members of the Banks Fire District completed “extensive training” to become better certified technicians and now are ready to pass on that information to families in Banks and the region.

“We know that proper use of car seats and booster seats can mean the difference between life or death in a crash,” he said. “That’s why Buckle Up for Life is so committed to our work with the Banks Fire District — to teach parents, caregivers and children about the proper use of car seats and provide free seats to families in need.”

Advance registration is required to receive booster/car seats and all caregivers are encouraged to attend the one-hour classroom presentation to qualify, although at least one per family is required to qualify to receive a seat.

Each car seat then will be installed in the participant’s vehicle once the class is completed. Inspections by the fire district to ensure that someone’s car seat already is properly installed is not required to register in advance for the class.

One class already took place on November 17 in Banks. Remaining car seat installations have been scheduled by the Banks Fire District to take place once per month beginning from 10:00 a.m. to 12 p.m. and car seat inspections from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. on these dates:

At the main fire station in Banks:
December 1
January 5
April 6, 2019
May 1, 2019
June 1, 2019

At the fire station in Buxton:
February 2, 2019

At the fire station in Timber:
March 2, 2019

On a side note, many people may not realize that the Banks Fire District consists of 96 percent volunteers, and it expects to respond to more than 700 emergency medical and fire calls in 2019.

The fire district also provides babysitting classes, first aid and CPR classes, and it also partners with the Red Cross of America on blood drives.

The Banks Fire District received in 2018 from Washington County an Emerging Public Health Leader Award.

“Thanks to Buckle Up for Life, the district can now help our community with car seat installations, inspections, and training,” Linz said. “The Banks Fire District is more than an agency in (Banks and the region); it is a true member of the community family.”

The Buckle Up for Life program says it’s reached more than 91,000 people nationwide and partners with 172 U.S. cities, including Dallas, New York, Chicago, Phoenix, Memphis, Las Vegas, Houston, Los Angeles and Orange County, Philadelphia, and San Antonio. It has a goal of expanding to new cities, no matter how large or small, with each passing year. Toyota provided the funding for more than 40,000 car seats for families in need since the program began at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in 2004.

For more information call the Banks Fire District at 503-324-6262. For more information about Buckle Up for Life go online to

Daniel Pearson

Daniel Pearson holds a bachelors in journalism and an MBA in marketing. He’s a10-time, Oregon SPJ award-winning journalist, a two-time winner of an ADDY (advertising) for copywriting, and a one-time award winner for fiction for the NW Coastal Writer’s Series. Email: Twitter: @rosecitywriting